/ 30 August 2018

Solly survives to fight another day

Higher ambition? Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga says he wants to see out his term
(Paul Botes/M&G)

In a dramatic day in the nation’s capital embattled Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga survived not one but two motions of no confidence in his leadership of the metro.

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) motion of no confidence against Msimanga was the first to be dismissed for failure to abide by application guidelines. Speaker Katlego Mathebe announced that the EFF’s motion against Msimanga would not be debated on Thursday, because the party had allegedly failed to submit a written proposal motivating the urgency of the matter. 

In the aftermath, the EFF vowed to boycott all proceedings in today’s council sitting, saying it will not participate in a sitting with “gross irregularities”.

The ANC also had a motion of no confidence in Msimanga but staged a walkout of council, Shortly before it could be heard. Without the EFF, the ANC was unlikely to have enough votes to remove Msimanga who has the support of the DA caucus and its coalition partners.

The red berets are adamant they had complied with all requirements in making their application for an urgent motion of no confidence debate against Msimanga. EFF caucus leader Benjamin Disoloane said the party would be heading to court to have Mathebe’s decision overruled.

“The speaker never followed the rules accordingly. You cannot disallow a motion based on allegations. That’s why we are approaching the courts,” Disoloane said. “It was just a technicality that was raised. And the speaker was out of order making a decision based on a technicality. Everything has been followed thoroughly. In the EFF we are not lazy, we can read and interpret the rules.”

The EFF’s motion was expected to be supported by the ANC. Disoloane said the EFF would not be voting with the ANC today as it was angered by Mathebe’s ruling and would not go back into the chambers.

“We are not going back to the council to entertain those shenanigans. We are going to the court,” Disoloane said. “[Msimanga] might be mayor for now but sooner or later you will hear those news [that he has been removed],” he added. 

Tshwane ANC spokesperson Lesego Makhubele said his party did not feel discouraged by the EFF’s walkout and believes its motion would still send a strong warning to Msimanga, even if he would not be voted out. “In Nelson Mandela Bay it took four consecutive councils before a motion [to remove former mayor Athol Trollip] succeeded,” Makhubele said. 

“We feel more emboldened with vigor and energy and inspired. This actually inspires us.”The EFF has said it will fill another urgent application which it hopes to have debated at the next council meeting.